Like a Happy Pinball in a Pinball Machine

A friend lost her granddaughter in the University of Idaho tragedy last week. I’ve been feeling shaky and ungrounded since learning about this. Yesterday I woke up needing reassurance from the Cosmos.

The Cosmos gave me a joyful hug and told me to get out of bed and get ready.

Soon a phone call came from our youngest son, Xander. The car he and his wife, Kyla, share had a flat tire and he needed a lift. I could help him with this – I had nothing on my schedule – a completely free day – and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend time than helping my loved one. So I drove up to Bellingham, picked up Xander, stopped at the co-op so he could buy groceries for their restaurant, and dropped him off at his business.

But now that I was already up in Bellingham I thought maybe I could park at Waypoint Park and walk up to the Farmers Market – get a little exercise and explore. So I parked at Waypoint Park, but before I started up to the Farmers Market I decided to give my oldest son, Andrew, a call to see what he was up to. Turns out he and his wife had just that moment decided to go to lunch at the Vietnamese restaurant a few blocks from where I was parked, and they invited me to join them. They said it was their turn to buy ME a meal. I humbly accepted their invitation.

I had a lovely meal at the Soy House Restaurant with Andrew and Christina. A healing peace surrounded me in the restaurant. Vietnamese music played in the background and pretty paper lanterns of autumn colors hung from the ceiling. And there I was – with loved ones – eating good food and sharing stories.

I told Andrew that his dad was installing our dishwasher and the dishwasher had come with extra pieces, and pieces that didn’t align with other pieces, and that at one point I’d suggested we bring our son with the engineering degree down to help – a rocket scientist might be useful at a time like this. Andrew said he’d be happy to come down and help and suggested that he ride down with me back home and then I could bring him back to Bellingham when I fetched Xander later on.

So we brought Christina back to their place, and then Andrew returned with me to the homestead to lend his support to the dishwashing project, and to work in our back field, clearing out blackberry vines.

We spent a lovely few hours together – tromping around in the frosted wetland – making plans about where we’d plant the cedar seedlings that keep popping up in our deck boxes. It was so wonderful to have Andrew with us for a while.

And then it was back to Bellingham to pick up Xander’s car and bring it to him at his restaurant. When we dropped off the key to Xander’s car, he and his wife, Kyla, invited us to join them for dinner later on – they would pay, they said. We humbly accepted the invitation, and then Andrew and I spent time until the dinner rendez-vous in his apartment, where he unfolded his little keyboard piano from the corner and regaled me with a private concert. “What instrument do you want?” he asked, as he prepared the piano, and I told him an oboe – so he pushed a button or two and I heard the deep, full tones of an oboe come out as he made his music. Peace filled the space.

We met up with Xander and Kyla for a vegan dinner – sat together at a table near the heating lamp – and laughed and talked and enjoyed each other’s company for the next hour.

And I shared how I’d started my day – by asking the Cosmos for reassurance. And I told Xander that – I know it maybe wasn’t under the best circumstances for him – but I was really glad he’d called for help. I’d spent the day like a happy pinball in a pinball machine – bouncing from one lovely moment with my family to the next.

The death of my friend’s granddaughter had really shaken me. I’d felt the loss deep in my own body and I’d wanted – still want – to somehow make it so that that tragedy never happened and no one had to feel the pain of it. But maybe that tragedy has also served to make me more grateful for the love and family in my own life – and maybe that’s one way I can honor the victims at the University of Idaho.

I asked the Cosmos for reassurance, and the Cosmos gave me reassurance over-flowing. Love still is.

Go Outside and Look at the Stars

If you have a clear sky tonight go outside and take a gander at the stars. From our home, Venus looks HUGE tonight. The frogs are just starting to make their music. There’s peace and beauty all around us.

The stars help put everything in perspective for me. The universe is so much bigger than our problems – and I find that oddly reassuring. I always say hi to Mom when I look at the stars. And now I say hi to Dad, too.
– Karen

“The stars make night beautiful, and the leaflet turns naturally towards the light.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

Blue Cosmos (photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell)

A Space Explorer

I’ve been feeling her with me this past week –
hearing her laugh, seeing her smile –

the night was clear, the stars glittering
above me and I asked Scott
to join me on a walk around the block
to look at the cosmos.
I always think of her when
I look at the stars – she loved to learn
about them. ¬†Scott’s just finished reading
a book by Neil deGrasse Tyson, and I remember
the photo of her standing with Tyson
and it makes me smile. Two of the world’s
great geniuses together – though she didn’t
recognize herself that way. She used to tell us
it was a miracle my brothers and I survived
to adulthood with her for a mother –

but we were so blessed by her! And the stars
feel so close tonight! I imagine myself
an astronaut – venturing out of my spacecraft
into space, tethered to my little home by
a simple rope, and my heart gives an excited
leap. And then it occurs to me – I AM
in space, traveling through the stars – I AM
a space explorer. And she is with me.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

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Blue Cosmos (photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell)

 

Moz, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Jolene Unsoeld

Moz Molenaar, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Jolene Unsoeld